Archive for the ‘Tahoe outdoors’ Category
Sunday, August 1st, 2010
Tahoe might not be the Atacama Desert or Hawaii when it comes to stargazing, but it’s pretty darn good. We get a black sky (especially when Squaw’s not open for night skiing) unlike many other places. Our elevation seems to be juuuust enough to be above the haze, both natural and manmade, that skew so many other night skies. One of my favorite things to do on a calm, moonless night here (besides see a band) is to find a pier with a second story on the end. Get up there and look all around – then peer down into crystal clear, jet black Tahoe. Star reflections will stare back at you with that ethereal glow that only comes from peaceful water-swish.
A different way to get a great perspective on the night sky is by going with someone who actually knows what’s above us. The man around these parts is Tony Berendsen from Tahoe Star Tours. He does his thing all over Tahoe and there are a few upcoming that you should check out if you’re here:
August 5, 2010: The Milky Way Rises Over Lake Tahoe
Activity: Star Tour Kayak
Cost: $65 per person
Where: Tahoe Vista Recreation Area
August, 12, 2010: Squaw Valley Family Campout on top of the Mountain! (inquire with Squaw to find out if they have a star expert in attendance)
August 12, 2010: Deep Sky Wonders and the Perseid Meteor Shower
Activity: Star Tour Hike
Cost: $65 per person
Where: Tahoe Vista Regional Park
Saturday, July 24th, 2010
Bathymetry:the measurement of water depth. Sound boring? OK, I guess I agree. BUT apply it Lake Tahoe, one of only 17 ancient lakes in the world, and you’ve got my attention (for a minute at least). About a million or two years ago Tahoe was formed. Roughly a dozen years ago scientists figured out how to show us what the bottom looks like.
Tahoe Bathymetry (image from USGS)
Pretty cool. Then I learned that there was a massive avalanche or landslide that essentially extended the West Shore by almost 3 miles. See tha bulb of ‘water’ that extends the upper left section a bunch? Well that happened in one incident as actual mountains fell into Tahoe. Tahoe Tessie got one heck of a ride that day as a tsunami thought to be hundreds of feet high whitewashed the shoreline in every direction. The good news was that this landslide created a windfall for Granlibakken. Once located miles from Tahoe’s crystal clear waters, the Big G now became an almost-poolside paradise for all the dinosaurs in Placer County.
West Shore Landslide Bathymetry (image from USGS)
When you look at the full bathymetry map and see all the debris scattered directly across from the landslide it’s impressive. But it’s truly mindblowing when you put the scale in perspective: those huge mountain-pieces traveled miles and miles through extremely deep water to finally rest where they now are – good stuff.
To learn more, check out this link. For a YouTube video go here. And to experience all of this firsthand (and look for dinosaur footprints) swing on over to Granlibakken and take a dip on Tahoe’s newest shoreline….
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
Do you the power of Tahoe restaurant decks? If you do and haven’t been on one yet this summer then you have some explaining to do. If you have yet to harness this power then please, read on…
Within a five to ten minute bike ride from Granlibakken’s intersection with West Lake Blvd. you can pedal / coast your way to a many different slices of heaven. To the north you can go to Tahoe City and sit on the deck of Jake’s On the Lake to enjoy a lunch, dinner or some drinks overlooking the Tahoe Marina and a looooong expanse of Tahoe’s azure surface. Head back towards the Big G, where the Truckee Rover is born from Tahoe and you have two great choices – the outdoor bar of the Bridgetender and the Rover Grill. The first is Tahoe’s best burger joint with tables along the river. The latter is a little higher end with Tahoe’s favorite outdoor happy hour with a firepit and music every Wed – Sun (7pm-10pm), right over the river’s edge.
Heading south of Granlibakken you can pedal down to Sunnyside – my favorite moonrise deck – with it’s massive expanse of wood and lengthy outdoor bar. The arrangement here is classic: fancy dinner go-ers on one side, barstools and sandals on the other. If you were to drive a few miles south of here, you’d find yourself moored up at the oldest pier-bar on the West Shore : Chamber’s Landing. This is located at the end of a dock where you can arrive by pedal, foot, sail or motor vessel. This awesome place has cheap grilled lunch, a ton of outdoor hang-space and it gets the last sun on the West Shore because of its prominent location.
For you boaters, the Granlibakken blog will spare no expense in providing content based on strict research for another post about boating to all of Tahoe’s best water accessible speakeasies – more on that later…
Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
Our partnership with the Nike Tennis Camp is older than some of our guests! If we were a marriage, Nike would be giving us a pearl to celebrate our 30th anniversary. To hear more about why Granlibakken and Nike are a great fit, check out our video of Program Director Tony Greco watch?v=vG9LOMsUWho.
Sunday, July 18th, 2010
Nordic Center Vista
This is just another one of those ridiculously sweet views of Tahoe that you can get from a twenty minute walk in the woods. It’s fine for lowlanders, big families and those who generally don’t want to push it too far on vacation. I’m tempted to give you the quick and dirty on how to do this exact one but must say that, a) it’s easy to lose one’s way in the woods, b) AlpenGlow Sports in Tahoe City is a great place for hiking advice, and c) I get lost all the time.
The famous Tahoe Rim Trail passes right through Granlibakken’s backyard and offers some of the best hiking in the country. I’ll do a full post on that another time. The trail these photos were taken from is well below the Rim Trail (yes I get lazy, too) on a knoll at the T.C. Nordic Center…oh yeah, let AlpenGlow tell you how to do it.
Looking toward Desolation Wilderness
© 2010 Alex West, copy and photos
Thursday, July 15th, 2010
The Tahoe Cruz, 50-footer
Congrats – you’ve booked (or are about to book) your next trip to Granlibakken and Lake Tahoe. Next on the list – make plans to get yourself out on the Lake while here…
The Granlibakken blog covers all sorts of way to get wet – paddleboarding, wakesurfing / wakeskating/wakeboarding/waterskiing, jet skiing, parasailing, hot air ballooning, floating the Truckee – the list goes on and on. But this post is about the (normally) most-civil of the various water activities: sailing.
Most of us don’t have our own boats – thankfully there happens to be a 50-foot ocean raceboat called the Tahoe Cruz which resides at the Tahoe City Marina, about 4 minutes from Granlibakken. This is an awesome boat that likes to heel (lean over) in good winds. It’s also a suntan machine when there’s little or no wind. The Cruz goes out every day at noon, 2:30 and 5:30. They serve free beer, wine and soda and the 5:30 boat has cheese and crackers, too. The best boats for families with little ones are the first two.
This boat model is a Santa Cruz 50 and was built specifically for the Trans-Pac Race which goes from L.A. to Honolulu. This boat type dominated the race for years. With that race pedigree, sailing the Cruz on a windy day here at Tahoe is truly incredible. When she gets heeling folks get excited (those on the bow can get doused) and the wine usually starts flowing – and that’s why I said it’s normally the most civilized of the water sports up here….
'Hey Cowpoke, you cast a pretty nice shadow'
© 2010 Alex West, copy and photos
Friday, July 9th, 2010
OK – we all heard about the 10-feet of snow that Squaw got in April. And May was no time to for a lengthy dip in the Lake. June had a ton of thunderstorms and unsettled weather. Just because Tahoe decided to skip spring doesn’t mean that anyone should skip summer here. And summer has truly arrived, albeit on “Tahoe Time.”
False Start Flip Flops
It’s in the ’80′s every day, boats are out in full force (as are the watercraft rental biz’s) and the water is, yes I dare say it: Warm! If you are one of these strange folks who think Tahoe is a lake to merely wonder at (the Hawaii-meets-Bermuda color) it’s time to get into those skivvies and give this ditch a dive. Seeking the warmest option? Well don’t swim on a windy day – upwelling currents bring the mobster-freezing gel from the depths right to the surface. And don’t swim next to a creek – not because of pollution you city slicker, rather because that water was snow about 5 hours ago. The warmest spots are Commons Beach in Tahoe City, King’s Beach, and the entire East Shore. So shovel off those flip flops and get up here…!
© 2010 Alex West, copy and photos
Thursday, April 8th, 2010
Bob, a.k.a. “Bob the Berserker” here. I’m one of Granlibakken’s three new Viking Ambassadors. The resort brought us on board to feature its amenities, like free Wi-Fi and the peace and quiet of its 74 wooded acres just minutes from the shores of Lake Tahoe.
The Viking Ambassadors review some entries from Granlibakken's contests
But I digress. My fellow warriors and I invite you to get barbaric with your creativity with not one, but two Granlibakken Viking-themed contests. Our trio needs a title, and we also want your input appropriate Viking names for each of us. I can’t go by Bob anymore… there’s already one in accounting. Check out which contest is right for you or learn more at www.Granlibakken.com.
Individuals from any company or industry that plan meetings can enter their name for the Viking Trio for a chance to win a $20,010 conference at Granlibakken! Enter by May 5, 2010 and grab victory by the horns.
Not a meeting planner? No problem. We want to hear your thoughts on what names we should go by, besides the ones our mamas gave us. Submit your bright ideas and you could win a Tahoe vacation at Granlibakken. Enter by May 5, 2010 and let your creativity flow the icy seas.
Why Vikings? We’re part of the Lake Tahoe resort’s heritage. Granlibakken translates to “hillside sheltered by fir trees,” as named by the Norwegian ski jumpers who developed the site that would later become the location of the 1932 Olympic ski jump trials and then Granlibakken Conference Center and Lodge. As Viking, I’m pretty darn proud of that.
Have a Thor-tastic day and good luck in the contests!
Thursday, February 25th, 2010
If you’ve never been to Tahoe’s Snowfest celebration than you have to come check it out. If you have attended it then you need to come back and see all the stuff you missed last time. Snowfest is that big and there’s so much going on that takes a few years to catch it all.
It’s been around since 1982 and has grown each season, shedding some events to add others that are more fun. This year, some smaller events start before the big Torchlight Parade and fireworks at Squaw on Friday, March 5. But this parade is truly an experience and a large draw. One of the new gigs is an ‘80’s Retro Dance Party at the Cornice Cantina in Squaw’s parking lot right after the torchlight.
The next day it jumps into more downhill action with the Transworld Snowboarding Magazine TransAm and the Sick & Twisted Freestyke Tour / Rail Jam. But my favorite things to attend on that first Saturday are the Pancake Breakfast and Tahoe City Snowfest Parade. Since I’ve been here too long I don’t know how this sounds but: the coolest thing in the parade are the loaders hoisting and moving their huge buckets all over the place – actually the most impressive part to me is that half of them are run by twelve-year-old kids! Also on Saturday is the Polar Bear swim at GarWoods – brrrr!
On Sunday you can watch or sweat your pancakes off during the Great Race from Tahoe City to Truckee. This is for insaniacs with ski poles and my strangest friends usually partake. It’s one of the biggest races of its kind in the West. Then there’s the Dog Pull (ever seen a Chihuahua pull a keg in a sled? I didn’t think so.), Human Bowling and the Sunnyside Luau.
So these are the first three days of the 10-day celebration. For more check out the Snowfest website and especially the event schedule. See you somewhere!!!
Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
This weekend one of Granlibakken’s semi-neighbors plays host to one of the best ski events to hit Tahoe: the Alpine Meadows Telemark & Freeride Festival.
The Buttress at Alpine Meadows - Venue for Day 2 of the telemark steeps contest
This event is great because it includes a classic steeps contest with a great viewing area (you need to be on the mountain to see it, i.e. have a lift ticket, etc.!). The it has an awareness raising / backcountry skiing component where people race UP the entire mountain using specialized gear then ski down to a simulated avalanche zone to find buried ‘people.’ It concludes with a no-holds-barred winner-take-all downhill race and a big bash. For more info go to Alpine Meadows’ website.